Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) wants to deprive pure men's associations of charitable status. "Who excludes women, should have no tax benefits and issue a donation receipts," Scholz said the "Bild am Sonntag". In his view, clubs that basically do not accept women are not charitable.
The Federal Finance Minister, who runs for the SPD presidency together with Klara Geywitz, criticized the newspaper: "There are hundreds of clubs throughout Germany, such as archery guilds or sports clubs, which only allow men."
The Verein Deutsches Ehrenamt writes in the internet about the requirement of charitable status: "Generally, the door to club membership must be open to anyone who wants to become a member." Conversely, this also applies to pure women's associations.
CSU counters Scholz
The CSU strictly rejects the tax plans of Olaf Scholz. "To penalize clubs for taxation, because they turn with their offer only to women or only men, is fundamentally wrong," said Secretary-General Markus Blume on Sunday the German Press Agency in Munich.
"I wonder: has Olaf Scholz ever heard of male choral societies, the Catholic Women's League, boys' associations or women's self-help groups?" It is absurd to divide our clubs into good and bad according to gender aspects, "emphasized Blume. Anyone who makes such policies ignore the cultural diversity of the clubs. "Equality is an important concern, this thrust does not help."
Benefits of being a charity
The recognition of charitable status by a tax office provides a club primarily tax benefits. So he is freed from the corporate and business tax. He also does not have to pay any property tax, inheritance and gift tax or capital gains tax. This exemption applies in particular to income such as membership fees, donations, inheritances or grants. In addition, a nonprofit association will be exempted from certain government fees and expenses.
The recognition of charitable status is also the prerequisite for the association to confirm donations, which in turn has a tax-reducing effect for the donors. Clause 52 of the Tax Code defines exactly which association purposes are recognized as charitable. This ranges from the promotion of science and research, to the support of animal welfare and sport, to the commitment to home care and culture.
The Federal Finance Court had already dealt with this issue in 2017: according to its decision, a Masonic lodge that had excluded women from membership was not charitable. The Lodge had no compelling factual reasons for the exclusion of women, the court said at the time. It was also said that the decision could affect other clubs.
At that time, the scientific services of the Bundestag came to the conclusion that this decision was "transferable to rifle clubs in their fundamental reasons".